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Gloucester & Sharpness Canal


Col_T

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We're thinking of taking our 57' narrowboat down to Gloucester, and wonder whether it is possible to go on down to Sharpness and what facilities are there if we do - thinking specifically about winding points, Elsan, rubbish, mooring, etc. We have a Beta 38 (BV1505) engine, if that is relevant.

 

 

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Once up into Gloucester Dock you have straight access to the G & S. There are numerous swing bridges, all operated by staff. 
You've not said how big your boat is, but the G & S is a wide ship canal.

These may be of use:
https://www.nabo.org.uk/files/members/gands_notes.pdf

 

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canal-and-river-network/gloucester-and-sharpness-canal

Edited by Graham Davis
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@Graham Davis - excellent stuff in those attachments. I've only skimmed them, but is VHF mandatory on the G & S?

 

@ditchcrawler - I hadn't quite grasped the scale of the G & S when I typed the original question - a little more research, and a lot more thought, might have been required!!

 

thanks for the info, gents.

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It is nice down there we will be there in a couple of weeks time.

 

The only challenging bit is on the approach to Gloucester lock from the Severn if there is fresh on the river.  Make certain you are talking to the lock on VHF or phone so you know the lock is ready for you.  VHF is not mandatory on either the Severn or the G&S but of course is very useful, as you get big stuff line Edward Elgar and the big trip boats, and you can talk to the locks and a few of the bridges.

 

On the G&S the bridges are all worked for you with a traffic light system the same as the Severn locks.  The canal is very deep and wide, you can turn round anywhere you want.

 

There are services in Gloucester docks and at Saul Junction, and water at a few other places, at least that was the stare when we were last there.

 

You can moor in most places, but they don’t cut the towpath grass everywhere so a strimmer or shears are very useful.

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I would recommend the Greek on the Dock in Gloucester, we ate there last week. They do a lunchtime menu which is good value. They serve excellent food and you can moor outside. 
Also, if you time it right, moor near Epney, have a drink at the Anchor Inn and you can enjoy watching the Severn Bore. Sadly. The next really good one isn’t until October. 

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37 minutes ago, MHS said:

I would recommend the Greek on the Dock in Gloucester, we ate there last week. They do a lunchtime menu which is good value. They serve excellent food and you can moor outside. 

Seconded. We ate there again on Sunday

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The G&S is lovely. views over to the Severn on a summer evening are just superb. Don't miss the Hulks down towards the Sharpness end. Slimbridge Bird sanctuary is a Good day out. Have fun.

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12 hours ago, Graham Davis said:

Greatest shame is that you can't get a pint off Aunty Kath at The Berkeley Hunt at Purton Lower Bridge any more. Her cider was lethal!

I remember as a kid we were left outside of there in the camper van whilst Dad and Mum nipped in for a quick drink there.....we camped there overnight in the end as the van wasnt going anywhere!!

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19 hours ago, Col_T said:

We're thinking of taking our 57' narrowboat down to Gloucester, and wonder whether it is possible to go on down to Sharpness and what facilities are there if we do - thinking specifically about winding points, Elsan, rubbish, mooring, etc. We have a Beta 38 (BV1505) engine, if that is relevant.

 

 

If stopping at Sharpness the Dockers Club does good food!

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The G & S is lovely,we'll be there again in July or August.You can even pop back to Gloucester by boat to do your shopping at Sainsbury's-mooring right outside.

Edited by The Bearwood Boster
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Worth stopping by the former railway bridge just up from Sharpness too, at low tides you can still see the  wreckage of the barges that started the demise of the railway crossing.  Sad time but interesting to learn about. Theres also the path of the soon to be restored Stroudwater navigation to walk up from Saul junction  . 

 

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9 minutes ago, Stroudwater1 said:

Worth stopping by the former railway bridge just up from Sharpness too, at low tides you can still see the  wreckage of the barges that started the demise of the railway crossing.  Sad time but interesting to learn about. Theres also the path of the soon to be restored Stroudwater navigation to walk up from Saul junction  . 

 

Can you walk from Saul Junction on the line where the canal will be constructed?

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2 hours ago, matty40s said:

I remember as a kid we were left outside of there in the camper van whilst Dad and Mum nipped in for a quick drink there.....we camped there overnight in the end as the van wasnt going anywhere!!

 

They wouldn't have been the first! If she didn't know you she would only let you have a half of her cider; that was quite enough!


Used to be a regular of ours as we had friends that lived in Sharpness. There used to be a great folk session on Sunday evenings on the grass in front in the summer and in Kath's dining room in the winter. All very informal but some excellent musicians would turn up, sometimes quite famous ones. I can certainly remember Maddy Prior and Dave Swarbrick on two occasions. 

We were there one lunchtime when the wagon from Wadworth's arrived and she only let them drop one barrel off before she gave them their dinner. Then when they had finished she tested that barrel and if it didn't meet her standards she'd refuse to accept any and always got another delivery the next day. She kept the best pint of 6X ever! All served over a plank across the hall with the barrels in the kitchen at the back.

The pub further down the lane, nearer the Severn, The Berkeley Arms, had a "character" of a landlord. Sometimes wouldn't bother opening if he didn't feel like it and would throw peiople out if he didn't like their face. 

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2 minutes ago, john6767 said:

Can you walk from Saul Junction on the line where the canal will be constructed?

Yes indeed, the Stroudwater is actually in water and navigable for around the first 200 yards or so, its mooring for the cruising club and also is the way into the marina. Then is a bridge that needs sorting as its too low plus relatively flimsy that leads through to the rest of the canal. The whole rough course is walkable up to the A38, did it yesterday, really lovely 

 

Theres a hiccough as the River runs across the course of the canal now, all sortable. 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Stroudwater1 said:

Worth stopping by the former railway bridge just up from Sharpness too, at low tides you can still see the  wreckage of the barges that started the demise of the railway crossing.  Sad time but interesting to learn about. Theres also the path of the soon to be restored Stroudwater navigation to walk up from Saul junction  . 

 

That is one of my favourite mooring spots.

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Once you have left Gloucester there aren’t any easily accessible shops, so stock up in Sainsburys.  For mooring as said already, just about anywhere, goat chains are very useful as there is a lot of steel piling.  
 

Because it is deep and wide there is normally no need to slow down when passing moored boats.   If the bridges don’t make you wait it’s about 5 hours to Sharpness.

 

You do NOT want to be approaching Gloucester if there is a spring tide that is high enough to overtop the weir at Gloucester.  If in doubt give Gloucester lock a call before your trip to check if there are any ‘high’ tides.  From memory if high tide is more than 8.5m at Sharpness it will go over the weir.

Edited by Chewbacka
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56 minutes ago, Graham Davis said:

The pub further down the lane, nearer the Severn, The Berkeley Arms, had a "character" of a landlord. Sometimes wouldn't bother opening if he didn't feel like it and would throw peiople out if he didn't like their face. 

Last time I was there the pub was being run by a woman and pretty much the same rules applied. Just realised that was best part of 20 years ago.

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Only bad thing to say about the G&S is that the towpath is all on the same side, the North or West, depending on the current direction. Being a wide canal, that means the moorings with shade are few and far between; the best you can do is find a bit of canal oriented north-south and get some shade in the afternoon.

 

MP.

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1 minute ago, MoominPapa said:

Only bad thing to say about the G&S is that the towpath is all on the same side, the North or West, depending on the current direction. Being a wide canal, that means the moorings with shade are few and far between; the best you can do is find a bit of canal oriented north-south and get some shade in the afternoon.

 

MP.

But no shade is good for solar power generation 

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